Politics & Policy

First Civilian Casualty?

Last week, Qaddafi’s regime hosted large Potemkin funerals and burials for journalists, claiming that dozens of civilians in Tripoli had died due to allied airstrikes. But the bodies appeared to be much older, and likely victims of Qaddafi’s regime itself. Most reports of civilians killed by NATO have been widely discredited. But now there may be one

Standing at the grave of an 18-month-old baby on Wednesday, officials of the Qaddafi government presented the first specific and credible case of a civilian death caused by Western airstrikes.The testimony of the boy’s parents, a hole in the wall, damage to the house, quietly grieving family members, and a baby-sized and freshly covered grave appeared to confirm the relative’s account of the death.

That made the baby, Siraj Najib Mohamed Suessi, the first specific and credible civilian death from the airstrikes that the Qaddafi government has presented in 10 days of official statements decrying what they say are widespread casualties.

Ironically, the baby’s own family says it supports the airstrikes, and has blamed Qaddafi for the death.

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